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August 1958

Early Diagnostic Criteria of Congenital Hypothyroidism: A Comprehensive Study of Forty-Nine Cretins

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich.
From the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, University Hospital. Present Addresses: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr. Aster); Northeastern Frontier Agency, Posighat, India (Mr. Ramon).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(2):131-143. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060133002

It seems clearly evident that the earlier the diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism is established and adequate therapy is begun the more satisfactory is the prognosis. In a series of 49 cretinous patients seen at the University Hospital the average age at the time of diagnosis was 12 months. We believe that in most of these cases a diagnosis could have been made before 6 months of age. A survey of these patients revealed that 54% had at least three prominent symptoms of their disease by the end of the first month of life and 75%, by the end of the third month. At present there are generally available laboratory studies that can confirm a suspicion of congenital hypothyroidism in better than 90% of cases. Most of the pediatric textbooks and more extensive reference works pay little attention to the early time of appearance of the several important, though nonspecific symptoms

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